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Tag Archives: democracy

scrollnegPresident-Elect Obama’s transition team has opened a second forum for questions submitted and voted on by Americans – http://Change.Gov/OpenForQuestions

After the first round of questions was closed two weeks ago, the Change.Gov team posted responses to the most popular topics , including:

Question: “Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?” 

Answer: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

This brief response to the most voted on question (according to NORML – see Previous Post) underscores the disconnect between government policy and the new silent majority recognizing Cannabis Hemp’s proper role in America – past, present and future. Thirteen states have now legalized medicinal Cannabis (an issue that has polled at least 75%  for decades); our farmers are suing to grow a crop their ancestors depended on; and thirteen states have now decriminalized small amounts of marijuana despite efforts by government officials to misrepresent and thwart reform.

vhsThis morning the good folks at Vote Hemp alerted me to the second round of questions now open at Change.Gov,  asking hempsters to search and vote for this question:

“Agricultural hemp is oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis that are low in THC. Please see CRS report RL32725. What is your position on supporting farmers in the U.S. having the opportunity to once again farm hemp, an important agricultural crop?”

Vote for this question (search “CRS RL32725) at:

http://Change.Gov/OpenForQuestions

* Current news and videos about industrial hemp – from the U.S. & Canada:

Headline: Nov 13, 2008 – US: Hemp Growers Take Case to Higher Authority – After paying $2,300 for a DEA permit in February 2007 and losing in federal court, two farmers in North Dakota are taking the federal government to the next legal level – in hopes of taking America to the next economic and environmental level. In a previous post, you can see ND’s Commissioner of Agriculture extolling the benefits of returning hemp to Dakota fields. Here is a local newscast, provided by Vote Hemp at You Tube:Wayne Hauge on KXMB Bismrck

canadaHeadline: Nov 13, 2008 – CN MB: Demand For Hemp Soaring, Firm Moves To Bigger Plant –  “In the last 10 years, the Canadian hemp industry has grown from an emerging niche market to a point where we are now being recognized as a global leader in hemp production”, said Mike Fata, chairman of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance ( CHTA ) and president and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp. The following, a video produced by Manitoba Harvest , is hosted on  Mike Fata’s You Tube Channel:Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils – Harvest Video

Headline: June 25, 2008 – CN MB: Growers Breeding New Hemp – In another story from Manitoba, the Parkland Prairie Hemp Growers Co-Op announced exciting results from eight years of work – cross breeding modern hemp varieties with 18th century genetics– the hemp of our grandfathers. PPHG has just received a grant from Canada’s Agri-Food Research & Development Initiative (ARDI) to further pursue the science and profit of hemp genetics.

neMeanwhile, back in the U.S.A., the only hemp fields to be found are feral remnants of the 18th & 19th century genetics so carefully selected by our ancestors. Recently, Cannabis TV visited one gene pool oasis in eastern Nebraska, where the famous “Kentucky Hemp” variety was introduced to support the cordage industry.  In this video, plant breeder David West, PhD examines the ripe hemp seed heads so important to pheasants and other wildlife, details history of hemp in the region and laments the loss of an important American legacy.Feral Hemp Patch, with Dr. Dave West

thomas“An acre of the best ground for hemp, is to be selected and sewn in hemp and be kept for a permanent hemp patch.” – Thomas Jefferson’s Garden book 1849

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paxflag… A new medical marijuana state; Decriminalization at state and local levels; Low priority or budgetary restraints on arrests and prosecutions at county and municipal levels – across America voters solidly affirmed what polls have shown for years.  In spite of this news worthy trend,  local newspapers seem to be the only traditional media reporting on these issues in the U.S. The first article national level news article I found after election day was this one from Britain – US Elections: Massachusetts and Michigan Ease Marijuana Laws. The following are news stories from several states, annotated with videos posted on You Tube.

miHeadline: Nov 6, 2008 – Michigan: Questions on Ballot Initiatives Remain– Almost two thirds (63-37 %) of Michigan’s voters approved an initiative making Michigan the thirteenth state to legalize Cannabis for medicinal purposes. After December 4th, patients will be able to possess 2.5 ounces and grow 12 Cannabis plants, but the program won’t be fully implemented until next April. Currently, only New Mexico plans to assist medical marijuana patients in obtaining their medicine, so many of Michigan’s chronically and terminally ill will have to access the “black market” to obtain their medicine.

This video from Oakland County NORML’s You Tube Channel outlines details of Michigan’s new medical marijuana law, examining some of the tactics used by the opposition, and also discusses Cannabis on the ballot measures in Arkansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts and California.ONN #20

hiHeadline: Nov 5, 2008 – HI: Planning Commissions and Marijuana Initiatives Pass– An amendment to the Hawaii County Code now makes the enforcement of marijuana laws on people over eighteen a low priority for police on the Big Island. Also, it prohibits the county from accepting deputizations or commissions from a federal law enforcement agency for investigating, citing or arresting adults using marijuana on their own property for personal, religious or medicinal purposes. This is the culmination of a citizens movement to stop accepting federal money for marijuana detection and eradication (see previous post).

The following is the first of a video series featuring Hawaii County residents testifying before council regarding “Project Peaceful Sky”, beginning with the director of the organization that led the effort to place the issue before the voters.Project Peaceful Sky HI Pot Vote – 01 – Adam Layman

Headline: Nov 7, 2008HI: Police chief: Vote Won’t Stop Pot BustsThe County Clerk and Police Chief on the Big Island of Hawaii say that there is already enough money in the budget to continue the marijuana eradication program “Full Force”, as the budget went into effect in July – even providing for matching grants from the federal government, which Police Chief Mahuna said he will accept when made available.

maflagHeadline: Nov 5, 2008 – Massachusetts: Initiatives Provoke Ire, Joy“Politicians wish they won their races by 65 percent of the vote”, said a spokesperson for Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, an organization formed in support of the ballot initiative that decriminalized possession of small amounts (less than an ounce) of Cannabis. Harvard law and economics professors and students comment in the article.

As the video from Oakland County NORML points out, four legislative districts in MA also passed directives for their representatives to vote on a future initiative to make Massachusetts a medical marijuana state! No new video from Mass yet (please check back), but plenty of newsprint has praised and lamented the vote in MA. Here are a few:

Headline: Nov 6, 2008 – MA: Officials Look for Guidelines on Marijuana Initiative ; Headline: Nov 6 – MA: Officials Hurry To Hash Out New Marijuana Law ; Headline: Nov 7 – MA: Police See Confusion Ahead With Marijuana ; Headline: Nov 8 – MA: Why The Pot Question Won ; OPED: Nov 9 – MA: Question 2 Landslide Opens Drug Policy Debate

moHeadline: Nov 7, 2008 – MO: Take Note– As this OPED from Joplin, Missouri notes, President-Elect Obama has already promised to end the federal persecution of patients and caregivers in states that have instituted medical marijuana programs for their citizens.  Given the new science that shows the efficacy of Cannabis in chronic illness and the general awareness that many conventional pharmaceuticals are ineffective (even harmful), if the feds will stand down from the struggle, many more states will soon follow Michigan into truly modern medicine.

wiHeadline: Nov 8, 2008 – WI: Michigan’s Marijuana Law May Nudge Wisconsin– Medical Cannabis advocates in Wisconsin are encouraged by the win in Michigan, hoping that their own long struggle to have a medical marijuana law will also be successful. This video from eleven years ago shows medical Cannabis patients and caregivers on a “Journey for Justice” – rolling and walking on the sides of back roads, carrying their message to the statehouse in Madison.2nd Journey for Justice – Wisconsin – with Newscasts

jeff2A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.
                                       – THOMAS JEFFERSON      First Inaugural Address, 1801